A nationally-cast show comes to The State Theatre tonight in the form of tap-dancing stars.
The show, “Tap Kids,” is a performance that “features eight of the best tap dancers in the country” ranging in age from 16 to 22, said director and choreographer Lisa Hopkins.
Debuting in 2002 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, “Tap Kids” has been performing more and more each year. The show has toured all over the United States and has also gone abroad, Hopkins said.
“Tap Kids” also received the first five-star review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in 2009.
The show was created by New York Stage Originals, a theatrical production company, which began in 1999 and was founded by Hopkins and Stern.
The company “write[s] original shows and tour[s] them,” Hopkins said.
“Tap Kids” tells of eight students in their senior year, she said. The students develop and change over their last months in high school, she said.
The music throughout “Tap Kids,” written by Philip Stern, encompasses many different genres including swing, Latin and contemporary, Hopkins said.
The dancing, although in the style of tap, is also unique, she said. The cast sometimes dances on metal chairs and lunch trays, she said.
Hopkins said “Tap Kids” can be explained simply as “‘Stomp’ meets ‘High School Musical.’”
Cathy Brown, marketing director at The State Theatre, said “Tap Kids” tells a story through song.
“It’s such a good show,” she said. “It’s a very athletic, very energetic tap performance.”
Lauren Kolarik, president of the Penn State Tapestry Dance Company, said she thinks that it is really interesting that “Tap Kids” is coming to Penn State.
“[The show] is a really good opportunity to see tap dancing when it doesn’t tour very much,” she (senior-accounting) said.
Kolarik said that tap dancing is challenging because it requires a lot of training and because the dancers are not only dancing but also concerned with getting the sound of the shoe to coordinate with the sound of the music.
“Tap dancing is pretty unique,” she said.
The cast of four boys and four girls possess a “level of tap dancing [that is] outrageous,” Hopkins said.
She said the performers are filled with passion.
“Whether you like tap dancing or not, you’re going to appreciate it,” she said. “It will inspire [the audience] with the energy.”
“Tap Kids” starts at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets are available at The State Theatre box office, online and also at the door. The price has been reduced to $20.
The show consists of two acts and runs about 90 minutes.